WWE Raw and Smackdown after Wrestlemania 33 – April 3rd & 4th, 2017
I’m going to start off by reflecting on Wrestlemania again. I had my feature done on it the very next morning without it maybe sinking in as much as I should have. I will say I stand by what I wrote, but I will reiterate that while some of the matches and booking decisions left something to be desired, I DID enjoy the event as a whole.
For the Raw and Smackdown after Wrestlemania, tradition has shown us that new faces debut and new rivalries/stories begin. There WERE some great debuts, but it was interesting to see that WWE held off on setting the stage for new rivalries because Vince McMahon announced that next Monday there would be a roster shake-up.
At first I thought they should leave the rosters be seeing how new people would be debuting on both shows and it would save more excitement for the summer months but on the other hand, these moves really shake things up and set the motion in place for the next year. I’m excited to see what happens next week!
The beginning of Raw was probably one of the most surreal things I’ve seen on WWE in a long time. Not only did The Undertaker’s last match sink in even more, the crowd’s reaction to Roman Reigns was one of the most heated things I’ve ever seen on TV from a live crowd. I swear and do sometimes on this site and that’s just who I am. With that said, I couldn’t imagine screaming obscenities besides, “holy shit!” at a WWE show because I know there are kids in the audience. Then again, one could argue that it’s on the parents to deal with it because they’re going to a show where sometimes the wrestlers say, “bitch” or “ass” and it’s all a program that revolves around violence and how they use violence to solve issues.
I think Reigns standing in the ring and not saying a word for over five minutes was gold. It was quite simply the best decision they could have made. I was waiting for him to snap and tear into the audience but how much more heat could you possibly get than what was given? Reigns saying that it was his yard now and abruptly leaving the ring gave the audience that last bit of vitriol needed to boo him while he headed to the back.
The Raw crowd welcomed The Hardy Boys back with another amazing pop! I’m surprised Gallows and Anderson got their rematch right away and I’m sure all four men were hurting from the night before (especially Matt and Jeff from working their ROH match on Saturday, too). I think this may be a sign that Gallows and Anderson may be going to Smackdown. I think I’ll enjoy watching The Hardys vs. Sheamus and Cesaro.
Speaking of being welcomed back, holy crap in a hat! Kurt Angle is the new GM of Raw!!! I think Angle on Raw in the will bring some much needed balance to Stephanie McMahon’s constant verbal abuse of the roster.
I was so disgusted seeing the crowd play with beach balls during the Neville/Ali match. Two great athletes are trying to entertain and that is the respect you show? If it was Randy Orton, I could understand…
I was glad to see The Revival debut on Monday night. I wasn’t a fan of them in NXT at first but their work ethic won me over. It may take a while for the casual WWE viewer to appreciate what they can do, but I think we’re in for a treat. These two vs. The Hardys/Sheamus & Cesaro would be entertaining as well.
The Women’s match was nothing to write home about. We saw the return of Emma (finally) and “evil” Emma at that, which works for me. I think the women’s division on both shows are going to get the most shake up next week. I would have still preferred the tag team division on one show and the women on the other.
Sami Zayn needs to be transferred to Smackdown next week. The poor guy is so lost on Raw.
The Brock Lesnar/Heyman promo was meh. I see him with the belt again and think, “we won’t see this damn belt defended or Lesnar on TV often.” Lesnar does not need the belt and I didn’t enjoy his last run with the title at all. I jumped out of my seat when Braun Strowman came down to the ring. Here’s a match-up/feud I’d like to see! Unfortunately, Strowman backed out of the ring like he did with The Undertaker and Reigns before. If he’s such a mean bad-ass, then do something instead of the cowardly heel tactic. It generates cheap heat and I don’t like it what it does to his character.
While I am glad to also see the return of Finn Balor, I’m with the others who think the pairing of him and Rollins wasn’t the right decision. Getting him in the ring for a tag-team match wasn’t needed and I think him just appearing at the end of the show would have gotten the same reaction – either that or tease a BIG return so he returns on a PPV as the Demon.
Raw had a lot of excitement to it and the crowd was hot. I loved most of the show and I’m sure many of the wrestlers and people working for the company were absolutely exhausted from Wrestlemania week. I’m just curious what’s next for Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and more. We DO have a Raw PPV (Payback) coming up in just about three weeks, so they’ll have the shake-up show and two-more to build up excitement after the busiest week of wrestling (cough, sports entertainment) all year.
I think after watching NXT Takeover, then Wrestlemania, and the always larger than life Raw after ‘Mainia, I was practically burnt out. I don’t think this show was as strong as it usually is and it was apparent after it ended that they basically were treading water this week to get to next week’s Raw. Besides, what’s the point in starting any new feuds before next week anyway with the shake-up coming?
Bray Wyatt’s promo at the beginning of the show was just as stupid and corny as anything he and Orton said leading up to their WM match. Now we’re going to be getting a “House of Horrors??” What the hell does that mean? More supernatural stuff that doesn’t make sense or come to fruition? Pass.
I did enjoy seeing people boo Orton when he came out as I still can’t believe in this day, we have Orton as the champ again. Hopefully this match happens next week and we are done with these two feuding and Wyatt can go pretend to be threatening to someone else. WWE has lost all credibility with Wyatt’s character.
While it was nice to see Erick Rowan come back, the only way to start building him up and Luke Harper is for them to get away from Bray Wyatt.
So, AJ Styles assaults Shane McMahon, his boss, a few weeks ago in an attack that would send a person to the hospital with life threatening injuries (in the real world) and now because they had a match, they’ve gained each other’s respect and shook hands? I guess the wrap-up to this “feud” could have been worse but that’s not how the world works and it’s almost laughable. I guess the only good thing coming from this is a potential face-turn for Styles even though that’s what he already is for most of the crowd.
The women’s match really never picked up steam and just like the Raw women’s match, really led me to believe this is the division that needs the most shake up on both brands. Where were any of the other women on the show? If they were all that important in be in a Wrestlemania match, how come they weren’t important enough to be on the follow-up show?
Same with the Usos – they are the Smackdown tag champs and nothing on Sunday for them or Tuesday. It’s funny that in the “land of opportunity,” they didn’t have one, but Shane was on both shows!
Tye Dillinger made his debut against Curt Hawkins (who needs a fresh start on another show). I hope WWE builds him up well because he could turn into a huge mid-card talent.
I enjoyed the Street Fight featuring Baron Corbin and Dean Ambrose and I felt that this match could have potentially gone on longer and would have been the kind of match they should have had at Wrestlemania. I’m sure this feud won’t end until Corbin finally wins the IC championship (or one if them is drafted to Raw next week).
Probably the biggest news coming out of Smackdown is the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura on the blue brand. While I thought he was going to get his hands on The Miz and make an impact, his PPV-style arrival was more than enough. The crowd loved every second of it. Once again, him not getting involved with anyone physically on the show just indicated to me that they were biding time until next week’s shake-up happens.